Mark Wahlberg should not be pardoned
In April 1988, Mark Wahlberg, 16, set upon a Vietnamese immigrant named Thanh Lam, and, with a wooden stick, beat him so severely that Lam fell to the ground, unconscious. Later that night, according to contemporaneous accounts, Wahlberg found another Asian man, Hoa Trinh, and, calling him a "gook" and "slant eye," smashed him in the face.
Trinh lost sight in his right eye.
Wahlberg was arrested, convicted, and spent 45 days in jail, an experience that hardened him for the rest of his younger days and provided him creative fodder for many of his later projects. He has insisted that, despite his liberal use of racial slurs, race did not motivate his attack. His intoxication, apparently, did.
Twenty-six years later, Wahlberg wants a formal pardon from the commonwealth of Massachusetts.Mark seems to be doing just fine for himself despite whatever the legal ramifications of an obviously racially motivated attack on someone which led to a permanent disability. I hope he's paying Trinh handsomely. He's lucky we're not sticking by the Old Testament rule of "an eye for an eye." I think he can go a few more years without being pardoned. But he can probably buy a pardon from Deval Patrick for a few thousand dollar donation to his re-election campaign and a few movie passes.
Why? He has devoted the rest of his life to being a model citizen. His movies do not glorify violence (apparently). He has contributed significantly to his community. He has mentored many young boys away from a life of crime. He has demonstrated, in deed, a respect for the police.
His pardon application includes the following ambition: "My hope is that, if I receive a pardon, troubled youths will see this as an inspiration and motivation that they too can turn their lives around."
The author, Marc Ambinder, has another suggestion:
Interesting logic. It works better, though, with this rewrite: "My hope is that, by not seeking a pardon, troubled youths will know that their actions have repercussions, even if they later become wealthy celebrities. Although this wonderful country provides plenty of opportunity for them to turn their lives around, they can never use their renown to erase the indelible consequences of their decisions."While generally in favor of second and third chances, yeah. Pardon him when Trinh gets his full eyesight back.